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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 03:18 AM
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Argentine dictatorship's acts put on trial
Aug. 19, 2006, 10:29PM
Argentine dictatorship's acts put on trial
222 ex-officials are in custody for decades-old events

New York Times

LA PLATA, ARGENTINA The horrific events under a military dictatorship murders, kidnappings, torture, rapes, the abduction and sale of infants had gone unpunished for nearly 30 years. But last year Argentina's Supreme Court overturned a pair of amnesty laws, and now the trials of military and police officials accused of human rights violations are finally under way.

In late June, the first trial, involving a police commissioner general named Miguel Etchecolatz, began here in the capital of Buenos Aires province, less than an hour's drive from the capital. With cameras rolling in a ballroom at City Hall, witness after witness has told how Etchecolatz and the forces under his command ordered, supervised and then covered up kidnappings and torture.

Nora Formiga, for instance, was 27 years old when security forces abducted her in 1977. Her family was eventually told she had fled abroad, and it was only in 2002, shortly after her father died, that DNA tests proved that a body found in an unmarked grave here was hers.

The trial also brings previously unknown crimes to light. Testimony has revealed instances of prisoners giving birth to children whose names do not appear on lists of the disappeared, and investigators found hidden between bricks at a police station a 30-year-old register of prisoners illegally taken into custody.

Police commissioner Miguel Etchecolatz
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